by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
A dominant performance from a fighter that could be the future of the 205-pound division was marred by an illegal strike that brought about the end of the fight at Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter season 10 finale, as Jon “Bones” Jones was disqualified giving his opponent, Matt Hamill, the win after he couldn’t continue.
Dynamic performances have become Jones’ signature in all of his fights and the bout with Hamill proved no different. With both fighters tossing out strikes, Jones set up a perfect throw midway through the first round that sent Hamill crashing to the mat.
Quickly moving to mount, Jones unleashed an unbelievable barrage of punches and elbows that Hamill did his best to defend, although a few definitely slipped through. Jones slowed down a little to catch his breath, but then started to light Hamill up again.
The end came as Jones threw two consecutive elbow strikes that came from the forbidden “12 o’clock to 6 o’clock” position, raising up and then dropping straight down, bludgeoning Hamill in the head and nose. Referee Steve Mazzagatti rushed in to stop the action and immediately pulled Jones up and deducted a point.
Unfortunately, in the scramble on the ground, Hamill separated his shoulder and ended up with a giant gash on his nose from one of the elbow strikes and was unable to continue.
The 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock elbow is the only illegal elbow strike from the position Jones was in, but it is illegal. Due to Hamill being unable to continue after the time the fight was stopped to deduct a point for the illegality of the elbow, by Nevada’s rules, Jones was disqualified.
“It happened so fast, I could only defend with one arm,” a heavy-hearted Hamill said after the fight. “Jon Jones did a really good job, so we’ll come back.”
Definitely not the way he wanted to win the fight, Hamill will surely heel up and ready himself for another shot at Jones in the future. For his part, Jones had a positive attitude despite the loss, the first of his professional career.
“I’ve heard so many times that when you lose, you come back a better, stronger person,” Jones told UFC commentator Joe Rogan. “Regardless of the outcome, God is still really good to me, life is so great, and I’m just so grateful for being healthy and everything else. Everything happens for a reason.”
He may not have won, but Jones just gave notice to everyone in the light heavyweight division that he’s the real deal, while Hamill will get healthy and take another shot at the rising star.